Do, or do not. There is no try.
This could be the third most well-known line from Star Wars. But there are a hundred different meanings you can take from this line. For the most part, we equate this line to: “stop bitching and start taking action.”
I’ve always interrupted this line as, “if you attempt something but view it as “trying,” you’ve already failed.”
Do, or do not. There is no try.
But let’s take away the “there is no try” portion of this line and only focus on the acts of doing, or not doing. When you do anything, you’re attributing some sense of value to the act.
I do yoga. For you, there’s some value from doing yoga.
But I Don’t Wanna
How many times in a day do you find that you’re doing something you absolutely DON’T want to do? Are you ignoring the things you DO want to do? Why?
Are you afraid you’ll miss something?
Afraid your boss will come down on you? Unless it’s illegal, are you terrified some dude will show up and arrest you and throw in a dark prison on a deserted island?
Or do you just do (or don’t do) things without thinking about them?
How many times have you told yourself that you can do everything?
Think back to the New Year’s Resolution you made. What was it?
- Spend more time with my kids.
- Exercise more.
- Be a better spouse/employee/friend.
- Stop wasting time on social media.
- I’ll start my business
Have you done any of that yet? At all?
Or have you tried, yet again, to do it ALL at once?
Trying to do it all is the number one reason why people fail. It’s not because they don’t want to accomplish their goal. It’s not because they don’t have the willpower. It’s because they never thought:
“What will I have to give up to make time for what I WANT to do?”
Every hour you spend doing something you don’t want to do is an hour you’re not spending doing what you want to do.
You forget about what is valuable to you and, instead, focus your energy on tasks that mean nothing to you.
Your do nots outweigh your dos.
And then you wonder why you’re not finding fulfillment, happiness, or feel like you’re lost. So what can you do?
Do you create a to-do list for tasks you need to accomplish? Yea? Awesome. Now I want you to create a “do not” list. This list will define the things that you don’t want to do. Things that take you away from what you value the most.
By taking some time to focus on the things you don’t want to do, you make the things you DO want to a lot more powerful. You carve out what values are the most important for you either as a person or in your work.
Here I’ll give you a quick example:
- I DO want to spend time reading and creating in the early hours of the morning
- I DO NOT check email until 9:30 am
Email puts me in a reactionary state. First thing in the morning, I want my thoughts as clear as possible so that I can write and create and keep inspiration as fresh as possible before something changes that (as email(s) is apt to do).
So list the things that you do want to spend time on; the things that add value to your life.
Then list the things you don’t want to do; the things that steal your time/energy/focus/spirit, and don’t do those.
Keep this list near your desk or write it down each day before you work and see if you can extract more value from your time each day.
Do. Or do not. What will you choose?